When Reagyn Shattock arrived in New Zealand, it reminded her of parts of Canada’s British Columbia (BC), and her move to New Zealand was driven by something that was a major part of her life in BC—hockey.
Originally from Kelowna, Shattock grew up playing hockey on boys teams with Kelowna Minor Hockey Association, eventually moving to the association’s female teams in high school.
Shattock later spent her last two years of Midget with the Thompson Okanagan Lakers of the BC Female Midget AAA league. It was while with the Lakers that the idea of looking for options for playing hockey in New Zealand came up.
“My mom is originally from [New Zealand],” said Shattock, who also holds New Zealand citizenship. “I got online and I searched up hockey in New Zealand … we started talking to people and [New Zealand has] a Worlds team, so we’re pretty much here so I can play on the Worlds team and go to Romania next March [for the World Championships].”
Ranked 32nd in the world, New Zealand competes in the IIHF Women’s World Championship Division II Group B tournament. This past March, the country finished fourth in the 2018 tournament with two wins, one overtime loss, and two losses. The 2019 tournament will take place in Brasov, Romania from April 1-7, 2019.
Shattock has spent the last year in New Zealand in Christchurch, taking Year 13 at a local high school and playing hockey and soccer. At 18 years old, she’s aiming to make the senior national team, and to do so, she will need to attend a training camp in Auckland in October, after which the team will be selected.
Shattock’s hockey home for the 2017-18 season was the Canterbury Devilettes, one of the three teams in the New Zealand Women’s Ice Hockey League (NZWIHL). The team finished the 2017-18 season second overall, losing to Auckland in the final.
Through 12 games, Shattock, a defender, had six goals and nine assists, and with her 15 points was fifth on her team in points and tied for eighth in the league in points.
“Reagyn has a lot of strengths both on and off the ice, which include all of the standard expectations of a hockey coach like skating, puck control, heads up play, shooting, and the list goes on,” said Devilettes coach Jeremy Dick, “However, actions speak louder than words when it comes to summing up this young lady. Very few words are spoken by her, but after carefully listening to instruction from the coaching staff there is generally a very confident smile followed by what can only be described as trouble for whoever the opposition happens to be at the time.”
Playing with the Devilettes has fully immersed Shattock into the New Zealand hockey culture, and given her an opportunity to play with current national team members such as Emma Kloss, Abbey Heale and Krystie Woodyear-Smith. She has found the hockey comparable to the Midget AAA level in Canada and in addition to playing with the Devilettes, joins the Canterbury Minors Ice Hockey Midget team for extra ice time.
“Reagyn was a great asset for us to be able to add to the team roster last season,” continued Dick, “Her ability to be able to transition between forward and defence (which is not an ability that many players possess) with ease made her a very valuable player. This along with her positive attitude and attendance to trainings and games made her a great role model to the other young players on the team.”
Beyond making New Zealand’s national team, Shattock is aiming to play in the NCAA. If she does, she would become the second female athlete from New Zealand to do so, the first being Grace Harrison, an Auckland goaltender who made the NCAA Division I St. Lawrence University women’s team in 2015.
When Shattock mentions to NCAA universities that she plays hockey in New Zealand, some are confused, since New Zealand is not considered to be a ‘traditional’ hockey nation. However, this hasn’t stopped Shattock. In December she’ll be going to Michigan to write her SATs and she has already arranged to practice with the Michigan State University women’s team while there.
For now though, Shattock is focused on making the New Zealand national team roster in October, something which she knows would be a unique and valuable experience.
“I know that not a lot of people get that opportunity to go to a World Championship and represent their country,” Shattock said of potentially representing New Zealand next year. “I would hold it pretty high in my memories.”
Photos courtesy of Reagyn Shattock